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It is not often that a greater presence of mind, or a quicker inventive faculty is shown, than that which was exhibited by a girl named Susan Gervin, aged 17, upon the occasion of a forcible entry being made into her master’s house. The story as told by the girl herself in the Woolwich Police Court, is simple. Between one and two o’clock in the morning she was awakened by hearing someone making a noise at the kitchen window, and thought it was someone belonging to the household. Presently the door was burst open, and she heard the footsteps of a man, who she then felt sure was a burglar. She resolved to lie quiet, and pretend to be asleep, but she saw the man enter her room, look at her, and then turn out the lamp, which she usually kept burning all night. His next proceeding was to take off his boots, belt, and cap. Pretending to awake, she said, “Ned, what have you done with the light? It’s a nice way to_ serve your sister, to take her light away.’ I must get another.” The prisoner stood beside the bed in silence as she got out and left the room, and she ran upstairs and aroused her master and mistress. To feign sleep with a burglar in the room requires some nerve and presence of mind, but many women will be capable of lying perfectly quiet under the cicumstances. This girl, who, knowing that there was a man in the room, and believing, no doubt, that at any moment she might be attacked, could invent this story, and utter it in a calm and natural voice, has all the qualities of an ideal heroine, and had she been differently situated in life, would probably have turned out an imaginary writer of the highest class. — Standard, Juno 11.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 137, 10 August 1880

Word Count

A BRAVE GIRL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 137, 10 August 1880